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Rambo Robber

Dressed in camouflage clothing and draped with knives and ammunition, a man entered the Tri-Mart convenience store in Junction, Piute County, on August 10, 1991. After displaying a .357 magnum revolver, he demanded all the cash in the till. He fled the store with $130. An attempt to locate was soon broadcast. Ten minutes later Piute County Deputy Marty Gleaves pulled the suspect over and called for backup. Ignoring the verbal commands of Deputy Gleaves, the suspect made a U-turn, swerved at the deputy, and drove off.

Responding officers joined the deputy in a high speed pursuit. About two miles north of Big Rock Candy Mountain on U.S. 89, the suspect vehicle ran off the road, skidded sideways, which flattened two tires. Six officers arrived on the scene from Piute and Sevier County Sheriff’s Departments and the Utah Highway Patrol.

The suspect refused to obey any commands of the officers. The distance from the officers to the suspect was about 65 yards. After retrieving his Remington 870 shotgun, Trooper Ken Pitts performed a “select-a-slug drill,” a procedure taught by the Patrol for distances in excess of 25 yards. The suspect then stated, “You’ll have to take me.” He then fired a single shot in the direction of the officers. Trooper Ken Pitts fired a single rifle slug which struck the suspect in the head, killing him instantly.

The Rambo robber was later identified as a United States Army private stationed at Fort Huanchuca, Arizona. He had left a note stating that he was tired of army life and would return in a body bag. The note also stated that he would “take some people with him.”